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Shifting of Consumer Value Drivers

According to a recent survey from Deloitte in collaboration with the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food and Beverage industry continues to struggle with slow-moving growth. While leading food and beverage manufacturers are seeing only a one percent growth, smaller brands are seeing a 4.9 percent growth, and private label brands are seeing a 4 percent growth. The study clearly showed that consumer value drivers are shifting and shopping behavior is evolving.

Consumers have traditionally made purchase decisions based on taste, price and convenience. However, the study showed that consumers have now added “evolving value drivers.” Evolving consumer value drivers are now equally as important in the decision making process as traditional drivers.

Evolving consumer value drivers:
  • Health and wellness: Nutritional content, organic production, all natural ingredients, and fewer artificial ingredients
  • Safety: Absence of allergens and fewer ingredients along with detailed accurate labeling
  • Social impact: Local sourcing, sustainability, animal welfare, and fair treatment of employees
  • Experience: Retail store layout and services, channel innovation, brand interaction, and personalized engagement spanning pre, during, and post-purchase
  • Transparency: Clear labeling, certification by trusted third parties, and company attributes like access and trust

Fifty-one percent of consumers surveyed preferred the evolving value drivers to the traditional value drivers of taste, price and convenience. Interestingly enough, region, age and income did not factor into the equation. These new evolving consumer value drivers are here to stay. Also research suggests that those consumers that place more value on the evolving value drivers are more likely to use social media, mobile apps and digital media to engage with brands.

All product categories appear to be impacted by the evolving value driver. Sixty-six percent of consumers’ surveyed felt evolving value drivers impacted their purchase of fresh prepared meals. Where as, only forty-two percent felt evolving value drivers impacted their purchase of such things as condiments, snacks/sweets and dairy products. Alcoholic beverages were the least impacted.

Evolving driver consideration in purchase by category (% of consumers)
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With consumer purchase decisions being comprised of both traditional and evolving value drivers, brands and retailers need to rethink how they meet the needs of their consumers. Consumers will continue to blend the traditional and evolving value drivers creating new and unique opportunities that will either strengthen or weaken your current marketplace approach. The question is…are you ready?


Source: Capitalizing on the shifting consumer food value equation. Deloitte 2016.